You’ve found the Right One, now how do you find the Right Diamond Ring?
A Diamond Ring means so much to a couple because it signifies a physical manifestation of love, and a remembrance of that special moment in their lives— the day she said “yes”, and the promise of forever was sealed. The round shape of the ring also represents eternity and unity, which is the very essence of togetherness and eventually, marriage. Since your love for each other and the memories you spent together all culminate into that one special ring, the diamond you choose for that ring must be the right one when asking her that all-important question.
The Gemological Institute of America, also known as GIA, simplifies the criteria of a Diamond’s quality into what is known as the 4Cs: Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat.
Clarity: Defined as the “absence of inclusions and blemishes”1 on the stone, this refers to how “clean” your diamond is. It is ranked from FL (Flawless), all the way to I (Included), with the former being the highest clarity grade (and the rarest!), and the latter being the lowest, with eye-visible marks that may affect durability.
Depending on your budget, the most important factor to consider when choosing the clarity grade of the stone would be whether these inclusions affect the appearance of the stone, such as if the stone is cloudy, or if it will affect the durability of the stone. FL to VS are good clarity grades to look out for.
Color: You may think that diamonds are colorless, but you will be surprised to know that a lot of them are yellowish and can even have a slight brown or gray tinge to it. They can even take on Fancy Colors like Yellow, Brown, and even Pink!
The ranking for colorless diamonds starts at D being the most colorless stone, down to Z, depending on how noticeable the color is 2. The value then increases depending on how colorless the stone is, which means that the higher the color grade, the higher the price.
When choosing a diamond based on color, first consider if you plan to get a colorless diamond, or a colored one. For the former, D to F colors are more coveted, with the occasional G to I, depending on your budget.
On the other hand, the criteria for colored diamonds differs, with the ranking going from Fancy Light, all the way to Fancy Vivid and Fancy Deep3. The stronger the color, the pricier it becomes. If you plan to buy a Colored Diamond, your choice here will depend on what color you prefer, as well as your budget.
Cut: This refers to the way the diamond rough was cut into the stone, which play an important role on how brightly your diamond sparkles4.
It also refers to the different cutting styles your diamond has, from Brilliant Cut (multiple triangular facets), to Step Cut (parallel, straight facets) and Mixed Cut (combination of both Brilliant and Step cuts).
The shape of your diamond is also something to consider—from the widely popular Round Brilliant, to fancy shapes like Marquise, Princess, and the popular step cut style called the Emerald Cut5.
While the shape and cutting style may depend on what you prefer, the overall grade of the stone, no matter if it’s a Round Brilliant or an Emerald cut, is more important. It follows an Excellent (EX) to Poor (P) grading system, so it is important to aim for Excellent when choosing a diamond.
Carat: Not to be confused with Karat (K), which is used for gold, Carat (ct) refers to the weight of the diamond6. Two diamonds with the same carat weight however, may have different values and prices, depending on the other C’s (Color, Clarity and Cut). For example, a VVS (Very, very Slightly Included) stone would be more expensive than an SI (Slightly Included) stone of the same Carat weight.
And finally, the most important step to consider in choosing the right stone would be the fifth C that isn’t included in GIA’s 4Cs— the Customer, or in other words, you! While there are many kinds of diamonds out there, and many more things to look out for, it all boils down to what you want for your bride’s ring. The perfect stone with the highest grade for all 4C’s is quite difficult to find after all, so you will need to choose which of the criteria you prioritize more. Putting aside all the technicality, the ring that you feel represents your love will ultimately be the one that you choose.